UK To Introduce Webmarking For Registered Designs

With strong backing from interested parties in the intellectual property community, the United Kingdom government plans to introduce legislation to give registered UK or European Community design holders the option to mark their products with the address of a website that links to the relevant registered design numbers, it said today.

Australian Review Of IPR, Competition Balance Draws Mixed Academic Response

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A government-ordered review of Australia’s intellectual property arrangements could either resolve many important and long-standing issues or prove to be yet another political exercise in futility, academics say.

European Parliament Committee Copyright, Trade Secret Votes

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In voting that took over an hour due to the more than 550 amendments proposed, the European Parliament Legal Affairs (JURI) Committee Tuesday adopted an own-initiative report by German MEP Julia Reda of the Greens/European Free Alliance intended to make sweeping changes to EU copyright law. The report is expected to feed into the European Commission’s (EC’s) copyright reform proposal expected later this year. JURI also backed draft rules on legal redress for theft and misuse of business trade secrets, but said they must in turn respect freedom of information and expression and safeguard whistle-blowers.

EU Sees Flurry Of IP Policy Activity

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With European Commission proposals for copyright reform expected later this year, EU lawmakers, rights-holders and digital rights activists are pushing for major policy shifts. European Parliament resolutions approved on 9 June call for stronger intellectual property protections in non-EU countries, and better internal enforcement against online breaches. A controversial draft report seeking more harmonisation of EU copyright measures has attracted around 600 proposed amendments and will be voted on 16 June. Meanwhile, the Council said it reached agreement with Parliament on changes to EU trademark law.

European Parliament Trade Committee Tries To Defuse TTIP Controversy But Outcome Remains Uncertain

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European Commission negotiators should back away from a controversial provision in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal that would allow companies to sue governments in arbitration courts over claimed unequal treatment, the European Parliament International Trade Committee (INTA) said on 28 May. MEPs called instead for publicly appointed, independent judges, public hearings and an appellate mechanism that respects the jurisdiction of EU and national courts, the committee said.

European Commission Urged To Fix EU Law Before Addressing IPR Protections In Third Countries

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Efforts to revamp protection for and enforcement of intellectual property rights in non-EU countries are welcome, but the European Commission should get Europe’s IPR house in order first, a new draft report by the European Parliament International Trade (INTA) Committee says. Meanwhile, internal IPR reform is advancing on several fronts, said the EC, which gave Intellectual Property Watch an update on the various measures.

UK To Revamp Law On “Groundless Threats” Of Infringement Suits

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Recommendations for key reforms to laws against “groundless threats” of infringement lawsuits in patent, trademark and design rights cases won general UK government backing today. IP lawyers said the government’s stance will go far toward resolving longstanding concerns.

Year Ahead: Copyright Reform, EPO Governance, Trade Secrets Among Top European IP Issues In 2015

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Review, and possibly reform, of the European Union copyright system tops the list of “hot” European intellectual property issues this year. The new European Commission has made modernising copyright rules a major priority, while fresh debate has broken out over the need for levies on digital copying devices to remunerate rights holders.

Meanwhile ongoing unrest between European Patent Office (EPO) staff and management looks likely to continue, as do efforts to finalise the unitary European patent and Unified Patent Court. EU legislation to protect trade secrets could be adopted and trademark law updated. In addition, several important IP-related decisions are expected from the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

EPO Supervisory Body To Face Fears Over Patent Quality, Judicial Independence

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As staff strikes continue and the European Patent Office’s Administrative Council prepares for what could be a contentious 11 December meeting, opinions are split over the effect of the turmoil on the office’s role in Europe’s unitary patent.

UK High Court Orders ISPs To Block Trademark-Infringing Websites

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In what may be a test case for trademark owners battling counterfeiters, the UK High Court has ordered five internet service providers (ISPs) to block websites that were advertising and selling bogus goods. The ruling could have implications beyond Britain, the court said. ISPs, meanwhile, said the best way to handle infringing websites is to remove them at source rather than blocking.